UArizona president urges vaccination, mask use with semester starting soon

Aug 10, 2021, 4:15 AM

PHOENIX – The University of Arizona is urging students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear face masks indoors when the fall semester begins with full in-person classes in two weeks.

UArizona President Robert Robbins detailed the Tucson school’s layered approach to COVID-19 mitigation during a livestreamed back-to-school update Monday. Aug. 23 is the first day of classes.

Robbins said it was “disheartening” that the ideas of masking and vaccination have become controversial.

“We are strongly encouraging masks in our indoor spaces, and particularly in our classrooms and laboratories,” he said.

“I want to be clear that I expect everyone to cover their face when they are indoors. It is my expectation that we respect each other and wear a mask in these areas to promote in-person learning in the most effective health and safety protocols.”

Masks will be required in university spaces where it’s allowed under state law, including health care facilities and labs, Robbins said.

He also said masks and cleaning supplies will be available in every classroom.

The school is also offering free COVID-19 diagnostic testing on campus, although it’s no longer mandatory as it was last year.

In addition, classrooms and other office spaces have been equipped MERV-13 air filters as part of the mitigation plan.

“We need to think of masking, vaccines and other measures as complimentary parts of the solution, not separate approaches,” he said. “Layering our strategies to minimize the risk to ourselves and others works best.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Firefighting crews are battling the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills. (Tonto National Forest ...

Bartlett Lake recreational areas north of Fountain Hills evacuated for Riverside Fire

The recreational areas near Bartlett Lake have been evacuated as firefighters battle the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills.

48 minutes ago

A 2-year-old boy died after he was found in a backyard jacuzzi Saturday. (Pixabay photo)...

2-year-old boy found in west Phoenix jacuzzi dies

Detectives are investigating the death of a two-year-old boy who was found in a backyard jacuzzi on Saturday in west Phoenix.

2 hours ago

State's new budget a sore spot for attorney general - Here's why...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona AG ‘extremely disappointed’ with state budget cuts to opioid settlement funds

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes released a statement saying she is "extremely disappointed" with the state's new budget on Saturday.

3 hours ago

Bipartisan state budget of $16 billion passes in Arizona Legislature...

Associated Press

Arizona lawmakers pass bipartisan $16.1 billion budget, fix $1.4 billion deficit

Arizona lawmakers passed a $16.1 billion bipartisan state budget, which Gov. Hobbs negotiated with GOP leaders, on Saturday evening.

7 hours ago

Southbound Loop 101 on-ramp in Scottsdale to close (ADOT Photo)...

Bailey Leasure

Southbound Loop 101 on-ramp in Scottsdale to close for 2 months

 The southbound Loop 101 on-ramp at Princess Drive and Pima Road in Scottsdale is scheduled to be closed for two months

8 hours ago

Improvements coming to Brooks Crossing Park (City of Chandler Photo)....

Bailey Leasure

New improvements coming to Chandler’s Brooks Crossing Park

Chandler City Council approves a construction agreement that will allow for improvements to Brooks Crossing Park.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

UArizona president urges vaccination, mask use with semester starting soon